By Noel Whelan

24th Jul, 2021 | 8:02pm

Pundit: Hourihane to deliver 'exceptional' promotion boost to West Brom

Noel Whelan has claimed Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane would give West Brom or Sheffield United a big promotion boost.

The former striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested that any ambitious Championship side should be in the hunt for the midfielder.

As reported by The Athletic, both Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion are interested in signing the 30-year-old this summer.

Both teams are looking to make an immediate return to the Premier League after being relegated last season.

The 30-year-old’s current contract, signed in 2017, expires next summer.

Whelan suggested that Hourihane could be a coup for any Championship team.

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Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He is a professional player and a professional person.

“Someone that’s got that fight and desire and the leadership qualities you want in any side.

“But also the quality to go along with it. He can determine the outcome of a match. We’ve seen that many, many times.

“He’s a great set-piece taker as well. He’s somebody who can drive the team forward. He looks like a bit of a talker and a leader out there on the field as well.

“If he’s not needed at Aston Villa and I’m a Championship club right now,I’m looking for somebody that could determine the result of a game.

Somebody that players want to speak to in the changing room, a leader and an example for everybody else. I wouldn’t look any further than Hourihane.

“I think he has been exceptional at every club that he’s been at and shown that right attitude as well.”

In other news, Sheffield United make move for Liverpool ace.